Meeting Review: Wednesday 16th May

Debra training sessionAnother action-packed meeting of Wimbledon Speakers Club last night opened with a short AGM, where Debra was re-elected as Chair for the next year. Congratulations to Debra, Bilwa, Katherine and John for being elected to their various roles – and a huge thanks for volunteering!

With those formalities dealt with swiftly, it was then onto a training session, delivered by Debra, which focused on how to increase our presence on stage. One by one, the audience were invited up to deliver the new salutation ‘Chair, Speakers and Guests!’, with the remaining audience stood right at the back of the room, giving feedback (and encouragement!) on whether the participants could be heard – a very valuable exercise.

Audience at back of the room

 

With our stage presence skills finely-tuned, Alice – the Chair for the evening, then delivered the Topics session, which was a set of mini debates. The audience were asked to go up in pairs with one member arguing in favour of a statement made by the Chair and the other member arguing against it. Such Topics given included ‘All redheads should be deported to Scotland and Ireland’ (masterfully handled by Joseph and Don), ‘A woman’s place is in the home’ (dealt with great humour by Bilwa and Jake) and ‘Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’, which saw a barnstorming performance from Jan and Ian which secured them the Debra trophy for the meeting!

Jan & Ian

The Topics session was evaluated by Ben who, considering it was the first time he’d tackled this task, gave a brilliant range feedback for all competitors – great encouragement, praise as well as points of improvement – great work, Ben!

After a tea break, it was Rachel’s turn to deliver a Level 4 speech, where the emphasis is on gestures and body language. Rachel chose ‘job-seeking’ as her speech subject, which Bilwa evaluated and gave it a strong pass. Congratulations to Rachel – it’s onto Level 5!

Rachel

Katherine rounded off the meeting with the general evaluation, declaring it a great success, not least in part due to the fun and highly useful training session and the creativity of the Chair’s Topics.

We look forward to our next meeting on Wednesday 6th June (kick off 7.30pm) at Wimbledon Library (2 minutes walk from Wimbledon train / underground station – entrance via the automatic side door on the left of the building) for more practice and progress! Everyone welcome – especially new visitors!

Meeting Review! Wednesday 4th April

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Philippe took the Chair at the latest meeting of Wimbledon Speakers Club and led another highly entertaining evening, not least because of the extremely philosophical and thought-provoking topics session!

 

Participants (including newcomers Jake & Ian) were asked to give 2 minute speeches on questions such as ‘Is it better to fail or never take part?’, What is one responsibility you would like to be rid of?’ and ‘Who do you compare yourself to?’ and it was Anne who took away this meeting’s Debra trophy with her topic on ‘What are your first memories?’ – congratulations, Anne!

 

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 After the break, both John and Arsh delivererd (and duly passed) Level 4 speeches (gestures), with ‘Phobia’ and ‘How to use social media’ as the respective subjects – we look forward to both speakers delivering their Level 5 speeches in due course!

 

We look forward to our next meeting on Wednesday 18th April (kick off 7.30pm) for more practice and progress! Everyone welcome – especially new visitors!

Meeting Review! Wednesday February 14th

How fitting that the latest meeting of Wimbledon Speakers Club, held on St. Valentine’s Day, was tinged with passion and emotion, as we bade a fond farewell to William Morris House, our home ever since the club was formed back in 1998. But before we said hello to our new home at Wimbledon Library in a couple of weeks, there was time to send the old place off in fine style!

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And we did just that, as Sam took the chair to welcome the audience to an action-packed evening, the highlight of which was the Annual Speech Evaluation Contest, for which we were honoured to have Suzanne Taylor Warren from Chaucer Speakers Club (and former National Evaluation Finalist) in attendance to judge the competition.

After the traditional icebreaker where Sam asked us all to introduce ourselves and tell us about one memorable place we’d been to in our lives, he then moved onto the Topics session, which this week centred around one of his passions – horse racing! Having noted some of the wonderful words and phrases that owners give to their horses, he gave each participant the name of one horse that ran the previous weekend and asked them to speak for 2 minutes in any particular way about that word or phrase. Our Topics Evaluator for the evening, Bilwa, noted the fantastic and inventive responses that were given to all Topics, including ‘Deeds Not Words’ by Katherine, ‘Whatswrongwithyou’ by Debra and ‘Shortbackandsides’ by William, but Michael took the honours for the final time at William Morris House, with his response to ‘Bloody Nose’! Special mentions must also go to our three newcomers on the evening – Anne, Natasha and Roya, who all participated brilliantly on their first visit.

After the brief business session and a cup of tea, it was time for the Main Event. Ben provided the Target Speech for the contest – a Level 3 ‘Mean What You Say’ speech entitled ‘From Duckling To Dolphin’ – where he told the audience of his experience of training for his first triathlon. John, Bilwa and Joseph took part in the contest and, after careful consideration and describing the key things she was looking for in the evaluation, Suzanne announced that Bilwa was this year’s champion. Many congratulations to Bilwa who goes on to represent our club in the next round of the competition. As Sam remarked, our new venue has a large mantelpiece that would look great with a trophy on it……

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After some last quick-fire topics, it was time for Michael to close the evening with his general evaluation – a fitting way to bring the curtain down on 20 years at William Morris House. And with that, Debra, our Club Secretary and Founder, closed the door for the final time….

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And so now it’s time for pastures new!! We look forward to our next meeting on Wednesday 28th February (kick off 7.30pm) which will take place in our new home of Wimbledon Library (2 minutes walk from Wimbledon train / underground station) for more practice and progress! Everyone welcome – especially new visitors!

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